IN THE LOOP with kapital k // W17
The only gaming newsletter you need. I curate and aggregate content from across web2 & web3.
Week 17 of 2023. Here are the top five headlines and fundraising announcements + a collection of content from independent creators that you missed this week!
Sega & Rovio // Sega and Rovio’s top grossing and most-downloaded mobile games — link
Summary: Sega has announced plans to acquire mobile game developer Rovio for $775 million, a move that will bring together two world-renowned gaming companies. Sega's top-grossing mobile games include Sonic Forces and Phantasy Star Online 2, while Rovio's top games include Angry Birds and Bad Piggies.
Analysis: This acquisition is a strategic move for Sega, as it will allow the company to expand its reach in the mobile gaming market and tap into Rovio's expertise in creating successful mobile titles. By acquiring Rovio, Sega gains access to a strong portfolio of popular mobile games that have already proven to be successful in the market, as well as the company's established brand and reputation. Additionally, this acquisition could potentially lead to new revenue streams and partnerships for Sega as it continues to expand its presence in the mobile gaming industry.
Apple & Epic // Apple wins appeal against Epic Games' antitrust lawsuit — link
Summary: Apple has won its appeal against Epic Games' antitrust lawsuit, with the court upholding the tech giant's control over its App Store. The lawsuit, which began in 2020, stemmed from Apple's policy of requiring app developers to use the company's in-app payment system, which takes a 30% commission. Epic Games had tried to circumvent this by introducing its own payment system for the popular game "Fortnite," leading Apple to remove the game from the App Store.
Analysis: This decision is a significant win for Apple, as it affirms the company's right to maintain control over its App Store and enforce its policies on app developers. However, it also highlights the ongoing debate over app store fees and whether they are too high. The decision may also have wider implications for other ongoing antitrust cases against Apple, such as those brought by Spotify and Match Group. This decision could embolden Apple to continue enforcing its in-app payment policies and may lead to further scrutiny of the App Store by regulators.
Microsoft // UK blocks Microsoft’s planned $68.7B Activision bid — link
Summary: The UK government has blocked Microsoft's planned $68.7B acquisition of Activision Blizzard, citing concerns that the deal would harm competition in the gaming market. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) concluded that the deal would create a combined entity with too much control over the industry, limiting choice for consumers and potentially leading to higher prices.
Analysis: The UK's decision to block the Microsoft-Activision deal underscores the importance of competition in the gaming industry. While mergers and acquisitions can help companies expand their reach and resources, they can also lead to reduced competition and harm consumers. Microsoft's bid for Activision would have consolidated a significant amount of power in the hands of one company, potentially limiting innovation and diversity in the gaming market. This decision could have broader implications for the industry, as regulators in other countries may also scrutinize large-scale M&A deals in the gaming space. Not to mention the impact if one company ended up with king-making powers by limiting or eliminating distributions of Activision Blizzard (and King’s) IP to permitted channels.
Microsoft // Microsoft praises Xbox Game Pass as quarterly subscription revenue nears $1 billion — link
Summary: Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass service is seeing a surge in popularity, with the company reporting that quarterly subscription revenue is nearing $1 billion. The service offers users access to a rotating library of over 100 games for a monthly fee, with new titles added regularly. Microsoft has also been acquiring game studios to create exclusive content for the service. The company is touting the success of Game Pass as a sign of its strong position in the gaming industry and a key driver of growth going forward.
Analysis: Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass has been one of the company's most successful initiatives in recent years, with the service attracting millions of subscribers and generating significant revenue. Game Pass is turning into a platform-on-a-platform.
In addition to the subscription revenue generated by Game Pass, Microsoft is also using the service to promote its own games and those of its partners. The company has been acquiring game studios to create exclusive content for the service, which has helped to attract even more subscribers. This strategy is similar to that employed by streaming services like Netflix, which invest heavily in original content to keep users engaged and attract new subscribers.
By offering a compelling subscription service and investing in exclusive content, Microsoft is positioning itself as a leader in the gaming industry and is well-positioned to continue growing in the years ahead.
Sony // Sony has big aims for PlayStation 5 sales — link
Summary: Sony aims to sell 25 million PlayStation 5 consoles by April 2024, according to a recent earnings call. The company has already sold over 7.8 million units of the console as of the end of March 2023.
Analysis: Sony's target of selling 25 million PS5 consoles in the next year is ambitious, but it is not unrealistic considering the current demand for the console. However, it will depend on the supply chain and production constraints. The pandemic has impacted the semiconductor industry, causing shortages and delays in the production of components needed for electronics such as the PS5. Additionally, competition in the console market continues to be fierce, with Microsoft's Xbox Series X|S also performing well. Sony's success will depend on its ability to keep up with demand, while also introducing new features and exclusive games to entice consumers to purchase the PS5.
Consoles aren’t going anywhere. The lifecycle of a console has grown longer from the average 6 years to as long as 10 years — as we’ve seen with the PS4.
thecoreloop // The Ronin Experience — link
a16z Games // Speedrunning a16z Games’ Games Startup School: AI Edition — link
a16z Games // a16z Games' Tips on Hiring — link
Amy Wu // Breaking Down Duolingo's Gamified App — link
1kx Network // Crypto disrupts the IP market by being open, efficient, and accessible — link
Mighty Bear Games // Thread of threads 🧵 across different subjects related to game design, startups, management, and digital collectibles — link
thecoreloop // Wassie’s Alpha Gaming Metaverse Expedition (WAGME) — link
Konvoy Ventures // OTT: Gaming’s Next Unlock — link
The GameDiscoverCo: The geography of PlayStation, Xbox & Steam users (2023) — link
Naavik // Riot Games & The Problem With Esports — link
Deconstructor of Fun // Web3 Gaming Consolidates to Survive — link
Hit Points // #195: Blocking high — link
Mobile Dev Memo // Interpreting the results of Google's Privacy Sandbox test — link
Mobile Dev Memo // Alphabet Q4 earnings: Search returns to growth, YouTube down 3% — link
Mobile Dev Memo // Meta Q1 earnings: can AI overcome ATT? — link
Mobile Dev Memo // Meta's ad spend glitch and the risks of marketing automation — link
Games Dev Reports // data.ai: Top Mobile Games by Revenue and Downloads in Q1 2023 — link
Revenue The revenue decline after 2022 has stopped. It’s now on a plateau. Three leaders by revenue compared to the previous quarter are the same - Honor of Kings, Candy Crush Saga, and Genshin Impact. Two old-new games are in the top 10 by revenue - Gardenscapes (jumped from #17 to #9), and Uma Musume Pretty Derby (#26 to #10…
Naavik // The Tabletop Renaissance
Naavik // Interoperability, Game Ecosystems and Web3
World Makers // $4M // Web2 // Shooter — Deceit 2 is a 6-9 player social deduction horror game.
Investors: Makers Fund
SuperDuperSecret Co. // $1M // Web3 // Board Game — Changing traditional Chess game into a 10-player battle royale
Investors: Round 13 Digital Asset Fund, Merit Circle, Polygon, Solana, Overwolf, Big Brain Holdings, LD Capital, Sebastien Borget, Gabby Dizon, Cristian Manea
Cosmic Lounge // $4.45M // Web2 // Casual — Developing AI-enhanced puzzle engine technology.
Katmai // $22M // Web3 // Simulation — Developing 3D virtual offices
Investors: Starr Insurance Companies, Sidney Rice
Tinytap // $8.5M // Web3 // Education — Platform used by teachers to develop and sell educational games
Investors: Sequoia China, Liberty City Ventures, Kingsway Capital, Shima Capital, Polygon, GameFi Ventures
Rivalry // $7.3M // Web2 // Infra — Esports-focused betting platform
For this week’s alpha calendar see our WAGME newsletter
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h/t to thecoreloop contributors: @0xkapital_k @chng_raymond @cloudxgmf @wassiecapital @iandaog @playtern @friandoteth @0xconglomerate @itsbambam
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